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Τετάρτη, 22 Σεπτεμβρίου, 2021
ΑρχικήEnglish EditionAbout MeToo: What’s happening to Greece?

About MeToo: What’s happening to Greece?


By Vasiliki Theodosiou,

“In Greece, an Olympian leads the ‘Me Too’ movement”. [1]

“Greek theater’s sexual abuse case sparks belated #MeToo movement”. [2]

“Greece #Metoo: Prominent actor Dimitris Lignadis held over rape accusations”. [3]

These above headlines, along with many more, have made it into worldwide media, who have dedicated full articles and live coverages in the events that begun to unfold in Greece a couple of weeks ago.

It all started when the Olympic athlete, Sofia Bekatorou, spoke out about the sexual abuse she experienced by one on the Hellenic Sailing Federation Members, and it continued with other athletes coming forward to share similar stories for the first time uncovering secrets about the dark side of Greek sports that some did not wish to be known.

But things did not simply end there, various members of Greek society that hold well-respected positions in other fields such as music and theatre, came forward with allegations of sexual, verbal or physical abuse from their superiors in the past. And it so happened that one of the accused was not only a ‘superior’ on his profession but also the latest Head of the National Greek Theater leading to him losing the position and ending up getting arrested a bit later.

At the same time, Lina Mendoni, the current Greek Culture Minister, has found a significant amount of the public demanding her resignation as it was under her supervision that Dimitris Lignadis, who is currently facing rape charges, was appointed the Artistic Director of the Greek National Theater.

Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels

It might be that the whole #metoo movement was an event that was trending in 2006, and Greece seems to be rather late in the trend, nevertheless, the significance of what is currently happening in Greece is rather big. In order to demonstrate why this is the case let us have a look at the words of the lawyer of Dimitris Lignadis, who while representing his client and speaking on national television made an effort to undermine the credibility of the witness’s statements who paints his client as a rapist. In order to achieve that, he stated that the witnesses are “professionally homosexual” meaning that their occupation is mainly providing services of a sexual nature and earning their living through it.[4]

Whereas the attempt was seemingly to undermine the victim’s statements while preventing more potential victims from coming forward, the ultimate result of those statements created a public outrage on the matter. At the same time various people from the arts clearly stated their opposition towards this statement while expressing their solidarity to the victims and encouraging more people to speak up.

On no account the above summary covers the events of the past days on their entirety, it albeit offers a chance for reflection on Greek society and the events that are claimed by some to shake its values and questions its morality. Is this belated #metoo movement a positive note and an opening path to change or is it a simply devastating occurrence for the society as a whole? The answer lies to the discretion of the reader, however, allow me to simply express one final point. Sweeping matters under the carpet, and covering them from plain view, does not mean that they are not still lying there. They will always lie there, unless someone actually finds the strength to lift the carpet and face what is underneath; and despite the atrocity of looking at it, find the further strength to ‘clean the mess’ and bring the people responsible to justice.


References

[1] https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2021/2/15/in-greece-an-olympian-leads-the-me-too-movement

[2] https://www.dw.com/en/greek-theaters-sexual-abuse-case-sparks-belated-metoo-movement/a-56706870

[3] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-56140274

[4] https://www.avgi.gr/koinonia/380319_orgi-kallitehnon-gia-epaggelmaties-omofylofiloi


 

TA ΤΕΛΕΥΤΑΙΑ ΑΡΘΡΑ

Vasiliki Theodosiou
Graduate of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with a specialisation in Linguistics. Former member of the European Youth Parliament and TEDxAUTH. Apart from her linguistic background she also has a musical background as the latter constitutes a field that she is equally fond of.